June 13, 2017

Week 14: Long Time Gone Sew Along | 60-Degree Triangles

Using Multiple Size Peaky and Spike Product #8289

The memory of my high school geometry teacher forces me to mention that these triangles are actually 53-1/2 degrees, not 60 degrees. However, "53-1/2 degree triangles" doesn't roll off the tongue does it? That may be why the late Doreen Speckmann started calling these two triangles Peaky and Spike -- more about that later.

Deja Vu

You may remember for Week 10 I made one row of Spike triangles (Jen's 60-degree triangles) to complete Section 1. I'm reposting that info here, so you don't have to go back for it.
The contrasting Spike triangles can be cut from the same 2-1/2 inch strips you just used for the HSTs. Don't forget to reposition the multi-size tool and trim off the corners for easy piecing. Instead of cutting 6 pairs of Peaky triangles, I chose to cut 7 neutral Spike triangles to alternate. It saves a lot of seams and I like the clean look better. Trim the neutral triangles to size on each end of the row.

Sew the traditional Peaky and Spike units as shown below. Press away from Spike, the large triangle.
On page 11 of the Peaky and Spike instruction booklet, we tell you how to join two Peaky triangles to make a rectangle, but until now we didn’t share joining 2 Spike triangles. We are sharing our future page 11 with you right now!

Excerpt, page 11:

The corners are engineered to fit perfectly when Peaky and Spike are sewn in the most common arrangement, as on page 2. The pieces fit together in other positions, shown below. but the corners do not align ideally. It just takes a little practice to create these units. For example, to make a rectangle out of two #97 triangles, cut both triangles in the same orientation and pay careful attention to matchpoints when sewing.

You can also sew Spike triangles together to make a wonderful Sawtooth border. End each strip with a Peaky triangle and use kite units for corner blocks.

Using Both Peaky and Spike

I didn't talk about using both templates in that article—that's fully described in your Peaky And Spike template booklet on pages 4 through 6. The instructions for cutting smaller sizes are illustrated for 1-inch triangles. This is what your Spike will look like for cutting 2-inch blocks (template booklet, page 4):

And here is what your Peaky will look like:

My Version of the Set of 24 Peaky and Spike Triangles

I chose to do the top and bottom rows entirely with the big Spike triangles, as I did for the row shown above in Section 1. They frame the center two rows.

Looking Ahead

Since I've been working ahead on my checkboard pieces -- I hope you saw my checkerboard shortcuts at the end of my Week 8, Courthouse Steps article -- I can now join all of Section 6.

A Little Quilt History: Why do we call these triangles Peaky and Spike?

Sometime in the 1980s, the late Doreen Speckmann affectionately named this pair of triangles, her favorite patchwork shapes, “Peaky and Spike” and introduced them to quilters around the world. In her honor, we continue the tradition of calling them by their famous nicknames. You will probably be surprised to know the big triangle is Spike and the little guy is Peaky. Her books that explain why are now out of print, but look for them in your guild library or shop for them on eBay®. Both books are loaded with designs featuring Peaky and Spike. 

Deja Vu Two

If you are making your blocks like I am, there will be some slight differences from what Jen did to make her quilt. It's okay, you're still eligible for prizes in the contest at the end of the Sew Along. Here's a quick copy/pasted explanation about that from Gnome Angel's post on her blog on May 24:
To be eligible for prizes you must follow the pattern. The only exception to this is if you follow Marti Michell’s tutorials because Marti is slightly modifying the pattern to work with her templates. We will be checking to make sure the winners have followed the pattern and/or Marti’s version. While we support and encourage people to express their individuality when it comes to making quilts, for the purpose of this event we need parameters to help us be able to give everyone an even playing field and the best way for us to do this is to have people stick to the pattern.
Also, we’re happy for you to jump ahead. This doesn’t disqualify you from prizes. The only requirements for being eligible for prizes is that you:
  1. Post a photo of each of the blocks in their relevant weeks in your timezone. You can find the block timetable by clicking here.
  2. Complete the quilt top and post it to Instagram within 12 July and Midnight 21 July 2017 in your timezone.
  3. All photos will need to have all the relevant hashtags on them.
  4. You will need to be following all the relevant Instagram accounts at the time of drawing.

More About "60-Degree Triangles" for Long Time Gone

Visit these other Long Time Gone Sew Along blogs, too, for tutorials, contests and other info:



Use the hash tag #LongTimeGoneSAL to share photos on Instagram.

Long Time Gone by Jen Kingwell. Copyright 2016 by Jen Kingwell Designs. Available on From Marti Michell website, www.frommarti.com


  1. It was great seeing you at the quilt show on Saturday!!!

  2. I am confused. I thought that we needed to piece the blocks as specified in the pattern. Omitting the seam in some triangles will disqualify us from prizes so we shall uld not do that correct? I think including the seam and thus mixing fabrics is part of what makes her quilt so charming and interesting to look at. I am sure that s why she was willing to add the extra step.

    1. Hi Linda -- We've updated this blog post to answer your question so others can easily see it, too. Good question! Thanks for asking.

  3. Will this work if I use templates D22 & D23?

    1. Yes, D22 and D23 do work together -- so sorry for the delay in responding! We are packing our offices to move down the street and trying to do it logically, but if you've ever moved, you know about best laid plans going awry!

  4. Can I use templates D22 & D23? And if so do I cut 2.5 inch strips for both or is D23 slightly wider

    1. Hi Lesley - the short answer is yes. The long answer is in the reply to the comment above. Thanks for patience. :)